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Demographics report card, Great Barrier Local Board area 2016

This local board area encompasses Great Barrier Island (Aotea), the largest island off the North Island.

Great Barrier Island is located north of the Coromandel Peninsula, some 90km from downtown Auckland.

Great Barrier Island is rugged and beautiful, and sparsely populated. Summer time sees an influx of visitors, with the island offering several options for accommodation.

More than 60 per cent of Great Barrier Island is public land, administered by the Department of Conservation.

The local board area also includes Little Barrier Island (Hauturu), which is one of New Zealand’s largest offshore island reserves. It is home to the biggest number of endangered birds on any island in the country and more than 400 species of native plants.


Quick facts

  • 53.9 yrs Median age

  • ]260 employees work in the local board area (2015) 

  • 91% European, 18% Māori, 3% Pacific, 1% Asian

  • 17% born overseas

  • $30,100 Median household income

  • 53% of residents employed

  • 3 schools, rated decile 3 or 5 (2016)

  • 153 businesses in the local board area (2015)



Between the 2006 and 2013 censuses, the population increased by 5 per cent, which is less than the regional growth rate of 8 per cent during that time.

In 2013, the age structure of the population had a higher proportion of residents aged 65 years and over than the regional structure. The median age was 53.9 years – the oldest in the region.

Only 17 per cent of residents were born overseas. Among the overseas born, the largest group was born in the United Kingdom.


In 2013, there were 462 households in the Great Barrier Local Board area. The median household income was $30,100 – considerably lower than the regional median at $76,500 and the lowest across all local board areas.

In 2013, 70 per cent of households owned the dwelling they lived in (this includes 14% who owned it in a family trust), compared with 61 per cent regionally.

Almost half (44%) of households were one person households, this is a high proportion when compared with the regional average of 19 per cent. Only 13 per cent of households were couples with children, and a further 8 per cent were sole parents with children.

Education and employment

Local residents reported generally lower levels of formal education, when compared with other local board areas. In 2013, a quarter (25%) of all residents aged 15 years and over had no formal educational qualification, compared with 17 per cent regionally, and 15 per cent had gained a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 25 per cent regionally.

More than a third (34%) of residents aged 15 years and over were employed full-time and a further 19 per cent part-time. Of those employed, 49 per cent were paid employees, and almost a third (31%) were self-employed. Both the Waiheke Local Board area and the Great Barrier Local Board area had relatively large proportions of self-employed people.

Around 40 per cent of those employed were managers or professionals, while 6 per cent were machinery operators and drivers and 18 per cent were labourers.

Business in the local board

As at February 2015, there were 260 employees on Great Barrier.Most were employed in accommodation and food services, education or retail trade.

The largest numbers of local businesses were in the accommodation and food services sector, followed by the construction sector.

During the period from 2010 to 2015, employment on Great Barrier increased by 9 per cent, compared to 13 per cent growth across the region.

The small scale of the Great Barrier Local Board area economy means that sector-level changes over time such as those described for other local boards are not available.

Top five employment sectors (2015)


All data presented here is from the 2013 Census of Population and Dwellings, unless stated otherwise. The census allows respondents to identify with more than one ethnic group, hence the ethnicity percentages may sum to more than 100. ‘Business in the local board’ data is from Statistics New Zealand’s Business Demographic data. School data is provided by Auckland Council, using Ministry of Education information. A school’s decile rating indicates the extent to which it draws its students from lower socio-economic communities. Decile 1 schools are the 10 per cent of schools with the highest proportion of such students and decile 10 schools are the 10 per cent of schools with the lowest proportion.